Category Archives: Family

To My Fellow Bucknellians – Please Read!

Rooke Chapel, Bucknell University

It was wonderful seeing so many old friends at our 25th Reunion this summer. Even though I did not have the opportunity to spend time with everyone I wanted to catch up with, many memories were turned up just by seeing some members of our class from afar! For Lee Ann and I the weekend was extra special because our oldest, now a senior at Bucknell, was performing with the Bison Chips during the weekend and my youngest sister Paula, was also celebrating her 20th reunion. It was truly a family experience.

However, I have to admit that I attended reunion with a heavy heart. A few weeks before reunion, I learned of the passing of Professor Michael Moohr (President Bravman’s note on Michael’s passing).

Professor Michael Moohr

Michael was a very special person to me. I think all of us go through life having encountered people who profoundly influence our development. Michael was one of those people for me. I know he was for hundreds of others.

So I’m sure a few of you are asking why I am writing this and why I am doing so in such a public forum? I, with a few other alums, have established a Memorial Scholarship in Michael’s name (Link to introductory letter here). The reason we did so is simple. It was the right thing to do, something Michael taught all of us by his example. Michael devoted 35 years of his life to educating, mentoring and nurturing Bucknell students. He was to many students much more than a professor or advisor. This holds true because he cared for the person first and the student second. By establishing this fund, we enable Bucknell to continue Michael’s legacy. Since the University does not allow broad distribution of mail/email I am hoping to reach as many people as possible with this post.

But I also have good news! $75,000 is the threshold for establishing an endowed scholarship at Bucknell. We now have approximately $68,000 committed which is a huge achievement in such a short fund raising period, especially true during these challenging financial times. So I am asking for your help. We have 2 alums that are willing to contribute half the difference of $7,000 as a matching challenge so we are oh so close to reaching the $75,000 level. If donating to this scholarship is something you would like to do, I thank you. But More importantly, you can help the committee by forwarding this blogs link to anyone you believe might be interested in helping keep Michael’s memory and spirit alive by contributing to the scholarship fund.

I thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I can guaranty 2 things to each of you. First, we will establish this endowed scholarship! Second, Michael is looking down on all of us, touched by our willingness to memorialize what he did out of love.

You will find a quick link to Bucknell’s donation portal with instructions below.
(Bucknell’s Donation Portal)
Once you click the link above, select “Other” under the fund drop down.
Under designation enter “Michael Moohr Memorial”

Photos courtesy of Bucknell University

Never Ending Love

You may have noticed that I have been a poor blogger the last few weeks. The reason is I have been in Europe celebrating my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Nat & Phyllis Mistretta, 50 Years Ago!

I have been incredibly blessed during my life. I have had the love and support of both of my parents and have watched them mature (ahem, get old) with grace and dignity…..together. They have reaped the rewards of the seeds they have sown. I also have a great wife and 3 beautiful, albeit mostly grown children (you can tell I don’t like the mostly grown part) ;-). Our family, my folks, wife, children and my 2 sisters clans equate to 16 people. As most of you know, organizing 16 people to go to Europe is a Herculean task but with 1 1/2 years planning, we were able to make it happen.

Vincent, Margaret and Paula One Christmas Many Years Ago

My father paid Paula and I $50 to kiss Margaret to make this picture :-). (Actually I am making that up to distract people from realizing I am holding a Barry Manilow album)!

One of the gifts we presented my parents while on our trip were 2 DVD’s with all of their 8mm and Super 8mm films set to music. They truly enjoyed being able to watch their wedding day festivities with their children and grand children.

Guest Houses, Roman Forum

As I prepared for our trip, I decided to tie a photographic challenge into the mix for me. My challenge was to take only one body (Nikon D700) and one lens (the old, 24-120) and try to photograph images of famous places differently than others have done. I will share some of the results with you over the coming weeks. As you can imagine, I have about 75 GB of new images to process and review. My goal is to present my parents with a book of the images from this great trip as a remembrance of the 12 days we all spent together celebrating their never ending love.

Images captured with Nikon D700 and 24-120 VR I, on Lexar Digital Film

Monday Musings – One Very Proud Father

I can’t really think of a better way to spend my Memorial Day Weekend than with my family. Its even more special when you include high school graduation. Peter, our middle child, graduated from The Taft School this weekend and is on his way to Williams College in the fall.

Freshly Minted High School Graduate
Peter with Grandma and Grandpa Penfield
Peter with Grandma and Grandpa Mistretta
Peter and his girlfriend Katie

Peter was very fortunate to make some great friends while at Taft. 3 in particular we now consider part of our extended family. Like Peter, those boys also made the decision of leaving home early and attending prep school so that they could realize their dream of playing NCAA Hockey. While it is a very difficult thing for parents to let go, its even more difficult to do when it happens 3 years early!

I know its a cliche but its true. Enjoy every day with your children. The time goes by really fast.

Bittersweet Weekend

Its hard to imagine that 13 years ago, I started tying my first hockey skates. Vincent and Peter (then 7 & 5 years old) both needed to rise at 4:30 AM in order to attend learn to skate for Mid-Fairfield Youth Hockey Association (MFYHA). Some mornings I would put their uniforms on, pads, skates you name it, and carry them to the car, all while they were still sleeping!

Peter After Winning His First State Championship

Both boys had great hockey careers that traveled down different paths. Both boys were on travel teams which meant Lee Ann and I needed to divvy up the driving responsibilities. Little Megan was often along for the ride! With my 60-70 hour work week and 2-3 days of hockey travel, family time was reduced to Sunday dinner. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I wouldn’t have traded in those thousands of hours on the road or in cheap hotels with the boys for anything in the world!

Vincent decided to stop playing in High School after being part of several state and regional championship teams. He is a great young man and currently a Jr. at Bucknell University.

Vincent At Regional Tournament

Peter on the other hand told me at 5 years old that he was going to play in his words “hockey in college”. At that time I just laughed and thought it was cute but at the same time wondered how it was that a 5 year old would even know what college hockey was. That was the last time I underestimated Peter! Peter devoted himself to all aspects of hockey, playing and training for 11 months a year. His teams won state, regional and ultimately the USA Hockey National Championship in 2007.

Peter at Taft Home Game
Taft Played at Fenway Park before NHL Winter Classic

So it goes that Peter plays his last high school game for Taft tomorrow. 13 years of lugging hockey bags, touching smelly pads and nursing broken bones comes to an end. How did Peter do on his prediction 13 years ago? Pretty good if you ask me. He will be playing for Williams College in the fall. Now I am just a spectator for the encore!